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Tytianna is the Way to Go Woman winner in the Entreprenuerial category. Tytianna is wearing: Pinstripe dress, $39; Gold Flake earrings, $16, both available at Besos. Shirt, $48; shoes, $120 both available at Dillard’s, Mall St. Matthews. Makeup by Lakin Gream, Strandz Salon & Threadz Boutique

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Tytianna Nikia Maria Wells, 32

Job: Founder and CEO of Honey Tree Publishing, LLC 

Tytianna Nikia Maria Wells is using her business as a medium for celebrating and encouraging children of color. “Particularly in literature, traditional publishing companies have two percent of books that are dedicated to people of color. Seeing that this number has maintained its consistency is definitely a gap I have always wanted to fill,” she says. Tytianna is the author and illustrator of six books including the children’s book series Sweet Pea and Sugar Tea’s Country Family Adventures: A Collection of African American poems, and The Bridge Kids: An African Heritage Family Activity Book. 

Crushing Cultural Barriers 

“In 2013, I stepped out on faith and started Honey Tree Publishing, LLC. As a child, I grew up with two books with characters that looked like me. Many of the stories that I wanted to read didn’t exist, so I started writing these stories myself and selling them. It was a natural solution to a pervasive problem of having limited access to culturally representative books.” 

Educating a Community 

“Honey Tree Publishing, LLC is different from other publishing companies because all books are curriculum-based and can be used in the classroom. I do a lot of live book readings in different libraries and community centers.” Tytianna also contracts with Sacred Heart and the Jefferson County Public School system to offer creative writing and book publishing programs.

Tytianna also created When Hip Hop Met Poetry an urban love story that is a memoir, spoken word song, and short film about her life from ages 13-19. “It covers my particular experience in being a teen mom and losing my daughter [Nadia Michelle] right before graduating from high school to stillbirth,” Tytianna says. Proceeds from the book fund the Nadia Michelle Scholarship Foundation which provides funding for students to further their education and personal development. 

The Future

“Honey Tree Publishing will grow as a publishing company that houses young and adult authors, as well as other genres including music (audio books, spoken word/ poetry, Hip Hop, etc.). I am excited for what the future holds.”

P.S. She’s teaching kids about the beauty of language. 

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